The Pros and Cons of Relocating for a Job


A competitive job market, changing industries, and a shortage of job opportunities have made the pressure to find secure, well-paying jobs even more extreme.  Relocating to a new city may be a possible option to jump-start your career or refocus professional aspirations.  However, before you start packing your bags, you need to consider whether relocating is worth it in the long run.  Uprooting yourself and your family to a new place is a tough decision and your employer may not offer a relocation package.  Ask yourself the following questions and then decide whether your answer is a pro or a con.

  1. How will this affect my relationship?
    If you’re in your 20s, single, and up for an adventure, moving halfway across the country for a job is something you might not even have to think twice about.  Being married, or in a serious relationship, changes things.  Your partner may have a great career situation locally and a relocation would force them to give that up.  Or worse, it may cause you to have to choose between that person and your career.   Before you consider relocating, talk to your partner and gauge their feelings.
  2. What is the cost of living?
    You need to do research and compare the cost of living and housing in the new area to the place you’re currently living.  If it’s more than your current cost of living, is the salary increase enough to cover the difference?  If the cost of living is cheaper in the new place, is the quality of life the same?  These are important factors to consider before you move.
  3. How will this affect my career goals?
    Map out your career goals and evaluate where the new job opportunity falls.  Is it a lateral move? Or does it promise growth opportunities? If relocation will ensure that you have opportunities for advancement and growth, then it may be a very wise decision to take the job.  If it’s a lateral move without a promising future, it may be best to wait for a better opportunity.
  4. What are the relocation costs?
    Moving can cost thousands of dollars, so you’ll want to know how it’ll affect you financially if you decide to take a job in another city.  Some employers may be willing to pay for part or all of your relocation expenses.  Be sure to bring up the topic before you accept the offer.
  5. Does the new location have the quality of life factors I want?
    List the quality of life factors that you feel are most important to you: size of the city, access to public transit, entertainment, night life, sense of community, etc. Does the place you’re relocating have more or less of these factors than the location you’re currently living? Do you have school age children?  Research the school districts and assess the quality of education.  It’s important to consider these things that add intrinsic value to your life and not just your salary.

If the job is right for you, and the other personal stakeholders in your life are on board, then accepting a job in a new place can be a rewarding decision and a fun, new experience.  Trying to relocate to find a job in the construction and engineering industries? RealStreet Staffing matches experienced construction professionals with rewarding career opportunities in the Federal, architectural, and engineering communities.  We have the contacts, and resources to help you build a better career.  Browse our online job portal for available positions across the United States.

I have worked with RealStreet for the past five years to provide supplemental staffing for two federal government contracts. It has been a great partnership. I find RealStreet to be attentive and responsive to our needs, reliable, and they consistently find great people that fit what we need for multiple roles on two different programs.

Kevin T. Fitzpatrick, PMP, Peer Review Program Manager

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